The risk of cybercrimes is forever looming over our shoulders. With most technologies requiring an active internet connection to run properly, we are always under threat. Investing in basic protection measures like a firewall or antivirus software might cut it for private individuals, but what about businesses?
Businesses and corporations have a lot of invaluable data that may be compromised if their securities are breached. Entities like banks, DNA research facilities, and medical institutions store a lot of sensitive information about a whole lot of people. Whether directly or not, cyberattacks are a threat to each and every person in any way involved with the internet.
We always hear about effective ways of safeguarding ourselves from malicious cyberattacks, but what happens after one has already happened? In the aftermath of a breach, what can be done? Amidst the chaos, the main thing you will want is answers to an assortment of questions, and digital forensics solutions will help you answer them all.
How, you ask? Well, in this article, we will take a look at exactly that.
What Is Digital Forensics?
Digital forensics is an umbrella term that covers a lot of processes dealing with sifting around the cybercrime scene and finding answers. Think of digital forensics as your regular crime procedural, but everything happens on the interwebs.
Digital forensics collects all kinds of data surrounding a cyber attack – data points, computer artifacts, etc. – as evidence. This evidence is then analyzed and presented as per requirements. Every investigation is made so that it is completely admissible in court.
The main questions a digital forensics sweep can be expected to answer are the following:
- What was the entry point used by the attacker to enter the network?
- Which user accounts were used by the attacker to get what they wanted?
- How long was the attacker on the network completely unauthorized?
- Where is the attacker located on a world map?
Navigating a cybercrime scene is difficult. Unlike a real-life crime scene, where evidence can be found by looking around, cyber crimes offer evidence that is much more difficult to find. This is why cyber forensics teams take their time to deliver the complete report.
Pros and Cons of Digital Forensics
As with any process related to anything, cyber forensics to has its pluses and minuses. In this section, we will go through all that so you can decide whether you want to go through with employing a team.
Advantages of Digital Forensics
- It ensures and preserves the integrity of your computer network.
- It is eligible to be produced in court, allowing it to catch the culprit and aid in the deliverance of justice.
- In case of a breach of security, it helps companies retain valuable information and stop leaks.
- Proper investigation helps you track down the criminal no matter what corner of the world they’re hiding in.
- It protects both the time and money of the organization from external cyber threats.
- Cyber forensics extract, analyze, and present factual evidence. There is no room for conjecture.
Disadvantages of Digital Forensics
- While they are admissible in court, it has to be proven beyond doubt that there has been no tampering of the data – which can be difficult to prove.
- Producing and storing electronic files and records takes a lot of technology and storage, which in turn costs a lot.
- It requires legal professionals to have extensive knowledge about computers and technology to effectively use these tools.
- The software and tools used to aid in investigations of this manner need to follow a certain standard set by the court of law. Otherwise, any evidence collected can be deemed unusable.
- Any software may have glitches and bugs. If they are not handled by someone with enough technical know-how to get around these, there is a chance of presenting faulty information.
How Can Digital Forensics Help Prevent Cyberattacks?
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Yet, all we have talked about so far is what digital forensics can do after the attack has already happened. Indeed, can digital forensics help prevent cyberattacks completely?
No, a digital forensics solution will not prevent the first time you get attacked. However, it is extremely useful. In the aftermath, the investigation will show you all the gaps in your system, and you can strengthen them, bolster your defenses even more. With your eyes now opened to everything you could have done, digital forensics does, in a way, help you prevent future cyberattacks by making you more vigilant and alert.